IoT 3 mins read

Go to work, but keep your distance

Social distancing means you simply cannot fit as many people in your store or on the shop floor – because they will come too close together for health reasons. We have an app for that!

Bart Schouw Bart Schouw

The economic fallout from the pandemic is motivating businesses to reopen, but the fact remains that the virus is still an active threat.

Medical consensus shows that by social distancing, you can effectively limit the spread of the virus. Many workplaces are struggling to figure out how they can make this work. Factory floors are crowded with equipment as well as people. Retail shops have workers and customers occupying the same space.

If the social distance mandate is two meters, the issue becomes even more problematic – you simply cannot fit as many people in the store or on the floor. A large percentage of the workforce will be in controlled spaces going forward, too near others and without mandatory personal protective equipment.

What if you had an app that could not only tell you if your employees and customers were too close together, but could also record incidents to help with track and trace if someone contracted Covid-19? And what if the app was completely private, with no data privacy concerns?

We want to help protect those people when they get back to work. To this aim, Software AG has launched a Smart Social Distancing solution. It uses smart badges to alert you if your employees or customers approach the limit of safe social distancing. The badges interact with beacons placed at cluster points throughout the workplace. The data is processed through Software AG’s Cumulocity IoT platform.

The first intention of the app is to change worker behavior; if your employees spend more than 15 seconds inside of a virtual boundary, then an “incident” is recorded. All wearers are anonymized, the solution registers proximity, but not location, and only authorized personnel have access to the data. This ensures the solution is compliant with GDPR and other worker privacy regulations.

Industrial Internet of Things

We’ve combined our experience in the Industrial Internet of Things with the industry knowledge of our partners to help organizations implement these safeguards quickly. You can be up and running in just a couple of days. Beta tests have taken place in food production facilities and process manufacturing plants and early results have shown that instances of breaches declined by more than 50% within the first week.

The solution helps employees protect themselves while health and safety teams can trace contact with any employee showing symptoms. You, as an employer can fulfill your duty of care and show the compliance that allows you to remain operational.

The Göbecke bakery in Germany is one of the first companies to trial the solution. Owner Christine Göbecke said: “Just like so many other businesses, the current situation is tough for us and holds many challenges. But thanks to the Smart Social Distancing solution, the safety of our workers is guaranteed, and we can focus on getting to a point of normality in our production.”

We are also looking into using this solution in our own office in Darmstadt, Germany – and maybe more – once more people return from their home offices.

A Software AG partner, Safectory, is producing the social-distancing badges, and we will also initially work with partners including Tech Mahindra and Dell Technologies to bring this product to customers around the world.

Learn more about our Smart Social Distancing solution by clicking below.

And stay safe out there.